By February 9, 2016 General

Your website has an ugly face! Keep reading and I’ll Explain… Many people spend thousands of dollars on getting a website built, only to find that it isn’t showing up on Google after months or years have passed. The website owners probably had the idea they would get a nice website and it would automatically start generating traffic, and as a result, leads and revenue. That’s a great idea, in theory, but it often doesn’t work that way. Want to know why? Well, if your website isn’t ranking well, it’s quite possibly because Google thinks you have an ugly website. There are two faces to every website. The first face is what normal humans, like you and me see. The second face is what search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo see.

The Two Faces of a Website

The First Face (The Front End)

Pretty Face - Website isn't RankingWhen your website visitors see your website, they may think it’s very attractive, like the girl in this picture.

The first face of a website, which you are seeing right now, is very important. This is what your website visitors see. You want to make sure your images are just right, your text is all spelled correctly, your links all navigate to the correct places and your calls to actions throughout the website are clear and easy to follow. If you don’t do a good job with that, your visitors may leave the site and never convert into revenue producing leads. Many times, the owner of the website will go over revision after revision with the website developer until everything looks just perfect, and so they should! Then, once the first face of the website looks good, the owner of the site believes the website portion of marketing is complete. That’s where things go downhill.

The Second Face (The Backend)

This is the part where so many websites fail. The second face of a website is what Google looks at. This is what we call the “backend” of a website. Google does want the first face of the website to look good. This is because it’s important for website visitors to like what they see. When website visitors are happy, then that makes Google happy. However, Google puts more consideration in the second face of your website. This is mostly just a bunch of gibberish HTML. It is typically meaningless to normal people and could look like this: <p><img class=”alignCenter shadowstyle=”display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;title=”seo_panelsrc=”//;width=600″ alt=”seo_panelwidth=”600“></p>. That’s the second face of a website, and it’s vital to make that face look as good or better than the first face of the website.

Why Does the Second Face Matter?

If the second face (the backend) is ugly, it’ll be nearly impossible to show up in a Google search. When Google determines how it wants to rank a site, it mostly looks at the second face. However, when a website owner gets ready to sign off on the new website design and make it go live, they typically just proof the first face. They make sure all the pictures are pretty and the text is spelled correctly, and everything is linking to the right place and the calls to actions are where they need to be. How often does the website owner actually say “Let me look at the backend of the website (the second face).” to the website developer? Not often, and understandably so! It’s not like the typical website owner knows anything about making a website look good for Google (SEO). The owner assumes that should be the job of the developer, when the website is being built.

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Why Don’t Developers Make the Second Face Look Good?

Ugly Face - Website isn't RankingGoogle may think your website looks unattractive, even though visitors see something VERY different.

Website developers hone their skills to make very attractive first faced websites that people will want to pay for. Their focus isn’t typically on making the backend look super good for Google. They promote what they are good at, which is making websites that people will like. Yes, they often have some kind of SEO package which is designed to make a good second face, but that takes money and the owner is typically just interested in having an attractive face; so they tend to pass on the SEO package, or just buy the least expensive SEO package available. Also, developers frequently don’t even dabble with SEO. It takes too much work and isn’t visual enough to sell. They stick with their primary area of service.

Does My Website Have an Ugly Second Face?

If your website isn’t ranking well on Google, there is a pretty good chance the second face has some degree of ugliness, even if the first face looks drop-dead gorgeous. How do you find out for sure though? Simply ask someone who knows what to look for. Some of my future blog posts will cover the things you need to look for, but if you don’t want to wait to read them, send me an email, call me or talk to some other SEO company you know of.

Can a Website Rank Well, Even With an Ugly Second Face?

Yes! Some people get lucky. Let’s say you have a website and you know it hasn’t been optimized for search engine optimization (It has an ugly second face), yet your website still shows up on the first page of Google. Why is that? It’s most likely because your competitors have websites that are even uglier than yours. There are many reasons why this could happen, but the bottom line is that a website with poor SEO can still rank well, if the competition isn’t very good. On the flip side, a website with a great first face AND second face can be out performed by competitors who have even better websites. Google just looks for the best websites and puts them at the top of a search. If you want to be at the top, your site has to be better than the other websites out there. Also, there is another very important factor Google looks at when ranking websites. That’s the website’s reputation with other third-party websites. Building a good reputation is done through strategic off-site SEO. You can learn more about on-site and off-site SEO in our blog post called “What’s the Difference Between On-Site & Off-Site SEO.” For continued reading on this topic, you may want to start there.

One Big Reason Your Expensive Website isn't Ranking Well On Google Click To Tweet


Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More



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